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Antiphon for God the Father

Antiphon for God the Father

Wertsch, Nancy


  • Text: Hildegard of Bingen
  • Language: Latin, English
  • Ensemble: Mixed Triple Choir
  • Accompaniment: a cappella
  • Genre: Sacred
  • Grade: 4
  • Duration: 5.0 minutes
  • Page Count: 9
  • Catalog Number: NWC-164

Antiphon For God The Father was commissioned by the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York City. I wanted to write a spatial piece involving multiple choirs using the large reverberant space of that church. I had always wanted to set a Latin text including its English translation as part of the piece, and the multichoir format afforded this opportunity. The piece is set for soprano soloist and three choirs, each with a different voicing: a women’s choir, a men’s choir, and SATB choir. The soprano is Hildegard the mystic praying. Her words come down to the people in the various choirs, each choir in turn pondering her works in Latin and in English, until the end when all choirs sing together and there is enlightenment.


O eterne Deus, nunc tibi placeat
O eternal God, now let it please you
ut in amore illo ardeas ut membra illa simus
to burn in that love that we may be those limbs
que fecisti in eodem amore,
that you made in the same love
cum Filium tuum genuisti
when you begot your Son
in prima aurora ante omnem creaturam,
in the primal dawn before all creation,
et inspice necessitatem hanc que super nos cadit,
and look upon this need that falls upon us,
et abstrahe eam a nobis propter Filium tuum,
and take it from us for your Son's sake,
et perduc nos in leticiam salutis.
and lead us into the bliss of salvation.

Hildegard of Bingen

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